Danielle Bussone demonstrates how to make Vegan “Pulled Pork!”
Note from Danielle: In the video I misspoke and said to add 1/4 teaspoon brown sugar. It is actually 1/4 cup! Oops! 🙂 Full recipe attached.
2 16oz cans Green Jackfruit in brine
¼ cup Light Brown Sugar
1 tablespoon Southwestern Chili Powder
1 tablespoon Paprika
1 teaspoon Chipotle Chili Powder or Chipotle in adobe sauce (optional)
1 tablespoon Liquid Smoke
1 teaspoon Onion Powder
1 teaspoon Garlic Powder
1 – 1½ cups Barbecue Sauce (see Time For Change) or any commercial BBQ sauce
Drain and rinse in cold water. With a fork pull the wedges of jackfruit apart until it resembles pulled pork. (It is much easier if you microwave the jackfruit for 30 seconds or steam it in a tablespoon or two of water first.)
Transfer to a covered skillet or sauté pan.
Add remaining ingredients and simmer for 10-15 minutes stirring frequently.
Links to Amazon.com are affiliate links. When you buy something through my links, Veggin’ Out and About! receives a small commission that helps support this site, which is greatly appreciated. It does not increase the cost of your purchase, and it helps us to continue to serve you. I post links only to products I use myself, have been highly recommended by a trusted source (which I will always disclose), or are very similar to products I use that are no longer available. Click on product to view link.
Jackfruit can be found in most Asian and Indian markets, probably at a better price than you can find on-line. However, if you don’t have these markets in your area or prefer the convenience of delivery to your door, this is good option.
This is a brand that I enjoy and is a reasonable price. I haven’t found an organic source for this product to date. This product doesn’t have high-glucose corn syrup and is overall the best among the available brands within the same price rang. You may be able to find this at you local grocers but, if not, this is an option!
This may be a better choice. Simply Organic brand is widely available at most grocers, but you may have a little more difficulty finding the chipotle powder. When buying hot peppers, it is important to find them organically grown if at all possible because many of them are sprayed with pesticides which also contain neurotoxins. Better to be safe than sorry!
Liquid Smoke is far less toxic than actually smoking your food over smoldering wood coals. A little of this goes a long way and is an essential ingredient if you want your dish to really taste like pork without resorting to cooking animal protein. This product is widely available in your local markets. The remaining ingredients can also be found at most markets, so there is no need to list them here.
Traveling can be difficult when you are on a vegan diet. Finding places that cater to your needs rather than being an afterthought on a carnivorous menu is a challenge. In order to find some of these great places you need to be diligent in your search. One such opportunity came up as we were traveling to Tega Cay to see my granddaughter. We did a search on Google, Yummly, and Trip Advisor for vegetarian/vegan eateries and found a place called Rawtopian Bliss. We decided to take a chance and experience something new.
The restaurant was easy to find as it was right off I-26. Our decision led us to a fantastic place not only to eat, but to learn about the mission of Chef Saa. We thought we were walking into a vegetarian/vegan eatery, but we found out that it is much more than that. Chef Saa changed her life approximately 20 years ago when she began her spiritual and vegan journey. Both of her parents were suffering from diabetes and she did not want to have the same issues in her life. She made the choice to switch to a vegan lifestyle and began a spiritual journey that eventually led her to founding Supreme Love and Light.
This is a ministry that is dedicated to holistic health. This organization is a nonprofit entity supporting healthy living. Their goal is to support wellness and whole health by encouraging natural healing, healthy food intake, herbal cleansing, stress management and spiritual awareness. They offer education about all of these things through workshops, classes, retreats and instructional demos. All of the money taken in by their ministry goes to support the maintenance and administrative costs for the mission of Supreme Love and Light Natural Path Ministry.
Margie and I sat down at a table and began to peruse the menu. We were very excited about the offerings. All of the items on the menu are whole food plant-based. Most of them are 60 – 90% raw. Margie chose the Tempeh Bliss burger with chips and cheese. I chose the shepherd’s pie with side salad. The Tempeh Bliss burger is 80% raw. The tempeh is marinated, breaded and lightly sautéed. It is served on a flatbread created by Chef Saa and accompanied by grapeseed oil veganaise, lettuce and tomato.
The shepherd’s pie is prepared with the savory sausage created by Chef Saa. It also has a cheese created by her, and the whole thing is wrapped in a tortilla shell and lightly toasted with a sweet and savory sauce. It comes with a side salad.
This was a great experience in a pleasant atmosphere. We had a chance to sit down with the owner and speak with her briefly about her journey. When she made the decision to change her life, she left a corporate job taking a buyout which allowed her to start her ministry. It is her feeling that there is an awakening happening surrounding food and health. Her mission in life is to bring this message to people and help them improve their lives both mentally and physically. She offers culinary classes on a variety of different subjects and you can even do an internship, learning how to be a raw chef. I almost jumped at the chance. This harkens back to her training at a Body Ecology Life-Sciences Attunement Center in Greensboro, where she spent much time learning how to be a raw chef.
There are many ways to tap into wellness while being coached by Chef Saa. They range from a transitional program for raw or vegan lifestyle to detox and rebalancing your body. She also does some free classes to encourage individuals of lesser means to improve their life and health. If you’re driving through Columbia on I-26 then this is a must-stop. We have placed this in our GPS and plan on stopping here a lot since it is on the way to my daughter’s house. It is exceptionally gratifying to run into individuals who are dedicated to causes such as this. Even if you do not have a chance to come to the area and experience Rawtopian Bliss, I encourage everyone to support their cause.
Swiss Chard Rolls Stuffed With Spicy Potatoes Masala
This recipe has a number of steps but it is really quite simple to make. If you don’t care for spicy food, simply leave out the hot pepper.
To assemble you’ll need:
4 leaves swiss chard
1 recipe Spiced Masala Potatoes
1 cup red quinoa
1 recipe tahini sauce
1 – Prepare Quinoa
1 cup quinoa, (red, white or mixed)
1 ½ cups Mirepoix Vegetable Stock (see Time For Change: Whole Foods For Whole Health!) or water
Preparation and Method:
Rinse quinoa under running water in a fine-meshed strainer. Transfer to a small or medium sauce pan with a lid. Stir in 1 ½ cups vegetable stock or water and bring to a boil (about 2 minutes). Reduce heat and simmer for 20 minutes. You’ll know it is done when the quinoa grows tiny little tails and all of the water is absorbed. Remove from heat and fluff with fork.
2 – Toast Cashews
3 – Prepare Spicy Masala Potatoes
3 medium (about 1 1/2 lbs) yukon gold potatoes
1 medium to large red or yellow onion, chopped
15 curry leaves or more (1 or 2 stems)
1 teaspoon mustard seeds, any color
1 teaspoon cumin seeds
1 teaspoon tumeric
1/8 teaspoon black pepper
1/2 teaspoon red chilli powder
salt to taste
1/2 cup toasted cashews
cilantro for garnish
This is a deliciously flavorful way to eat potatoes. I first tried this dish at a fantastic Indian/Sri Lanken restaurant called, Dosa Garden, in Staten Island, NY. I was so smitten by the flavors, I hounded the owner to share the recipe with me. He gave me the general ingredients and this is the version I cam up with. I think it comes pretty close. While Kandi, from Dosa Garden, uses oil when he prepares this dish, this is an oil-free method. The preparation times of this dish overlap into the cooking time.
Preparation: 5 -7 minutes
Wash and dice potatoes, leaving skin on (5 – 7 minutes). Rinse and transfer to a medium sauce pan with a lid. Put in enough water or vegetable stock to come half-way to the top of the potatoes (1/2-1 inch, depending on the size of your saucepan). Bring to a rapid boil. Reduce heat and cook at a low boil until fork tender.
While the potatoes are coming to a boil, peel and chop onions.
Heat your sauté pan and add chopped onions. Stir. Add curry leaves, cumin seeds, and mustard seeds. Sauté, stirring frequently, until onion is translucent. Add 1/8 cup water, turmeric, black pepper and chili powder.
While the onions and potatoes are cooking, prepare cashews. You can leave them whole or chop them into coarsely chopped pieces. In a small fry pan on medium heat, brown cashews, turning them over with a spatula or flip them in the pan frequently. When they are lightly browned, transfer to a cool dish. Don’t leave them in the pan to cool because they will continue to brown and will possibly burn. Set aside.
When potatoes are fork tender (most of the water should be boiled away), drain, reserving liquid, and add to onion mixture. Toss all ingredients until completely covered with the spicy onion mixture. Mash mixture with a potato masher. If the potatoes feel a little dry, add a little of the reserved potato water, 1 tablespoon at a time. Fold in cashews. Garnish with cilantro leaves.
Serve hot as a side dish as a filling for Utthappam (Indian Potato Pancakes), or as a filling for Swiss Chard Rolls. This is also good served cold as a potato salad .
4 – Tahini Sauce
1/4 cup Tahini
2 teasp white miso (garbanzo bean or soy miso)
1 teasp Mitoku sweet brown vinegar, or brown rice vinegar
1 tbsp fresh lemon juice
1 tbsp brown sugar
3/4 cup water
Tahini sauce is delicious over just about any grain dish. It will keep three days in your refrigerator and reheats well. You can make it to the consistency you desire.
Time: 10 minutes
Yield: 3/4 cup
Preparation and Directions: 2-3min
In a blender on medium-high speed, blend all ingredients until smooth.
If you have a high-powered blender, like a Vita-mix, you can put it on high and blend until the mixture is thick like heavy cream and warm. Add just enough water to thin to a nice creamy sauce. The only problem with using a Vita-mix for this is that the sauce will tend to be a little frothy, with lots of small bubbles in it. While this doesn’t affect flavor, it can give it a less desirable appearance. I, personally, don’t mind this but if you do, blend this in your regular blender and transfer it to a small saucepan and finish the process on the stove.
If you prefer to heat it on a stovetop add 5 minutes to preparation time.
If you don’t have a Vita-mix, transfer the sauce to a small saucepan and carefully heat on medium-low until thickened, adding water until you achieve a warm sauce with the consistency of heavy cream. (Nut sauces like to burn so stir frequently.
5 – Wilting Swiss Chard Leaves To Prepare For Stuffing
Pick out the largest swiss chard leaves you can find and those with few or no tears in them.
First, half-fill a large skillet or sauté pan with water. Cover and bring to a boil. Fill a large, wide-rimmed bowl with cold water. If you have ice cubes, add a few to the water to get it as cold as possible. Set aside. (You can leave this in your sink for less mess.) Also, lay a large, clean towel on your countertop for draining water from leaves.)
While the water is heating, wash several chard leaves to get rid of any residual dirt and grit. Choose a large leaf and turn it over onto a chopping board so that the bottom rib of the leaf is exposed. Lay a paring knife on its side and gently shave about half of the stem off, taking care not to cut through the stem entirely nor accidentally puncture the leaf. This will allow the leaf to bend easier while rolling it. Cut off stem at the base of the leaf and save for making vegetable stock, put in compost or discard. We won’t be using it in this recipe.
Remove lid from water and reduce heat to simmer. Gently lay prepared leaf in hot water and submerge for 30 seconds. Remove with a tong and transfer to cold water bath to stop cooking. Once cooled, remove from water bath and spread out on towel to drain. Pat with another clean towel to dry exposed side of the leaf. Repeat process with all the leaves you plan to stuff.
6 – Assembling Swiss Chard Rolls
Take wilted leaf and place, shaved stem side up, on a chopping board or large plate. Spoon a generous portion of Spicy Potatoes Masala (see recipe) onto the bottom of the leaf and roll towards the top of the leaf, tucking the potatoes under as you go. When you’ve completed one full turn, fold the sides of the leaf towards the middle. continue to roll until you’ve used the entire leaf. This technique is very similar to rolling a burrito.
Prepare a bed of Red Quinoa (see recipe, you may substitute any other type quinoa) and spoon some Tahini Sauce (see recipe) over it. Arrange one or two swiss chard rolls on top of the quinoa, then drizzle some more of the Tahini Sauce over the top. Enjoy!
I don’t know how I ever lived without a Vitamix. This is an excellent product and lasts a very long time. It is multi-functional and it makes it possible to make creamy cheeses from nuts and ice creams, which are virtually impossible with a regular blender or a food-processor, as well as sauces, soups, breads, and much more. I use my Vitamix every single day and have for the past eight years. It’s still going strong!
I always use earplugs when working with loud electrical appliances. This is a great, inexpensive, reusable set that has a box to store them in as well as replacements for when you wear yours out. They last a very long time and are washable. Rich and I keep a pair for each of us in the fold-out drawer below our sink so they are always handy.
I’ve not personally tried these particular brands of whole organic cashews. They have good ratings on Amazon and are reasonably good prices, and also offer free shipping. I recommend purchasing the 2-pound bags to begin with to see if you like them. They offer a better value than the 1-pound bags. Freeze or refrigerate what you are not using right away. You may also be able to find these at your local grocers.
You can usually find quinoa at your local health food store and often at Asian grocers, if you happen to have a good one in your area. Many grocery chains are now carrying this delicious, nutritious grain. If you can’t find it in your area, many products are available on-line, often with free shipping. You can get much better prices if you buy in bulk quantities. Quinoa comes in black, red, white and mixed. The more colorful, the more antioxidants and, therefore, the more healthy!
I like this brand because it is made entirely with organically grown sesame seeds (no fillers or added oil) and because it comes in a glass jar. With all the health risks associated with plastics, I avoid them if at all possible.
Having a meal at the Green Erth Bistro is like sitting down at the dinner table with your family in your own home. This restaurant is a little slice of heaven, hearkening back to a time when we sat down at grandma’s table for a homemade meal. All of the dishes are made simply with very fresh ingredients. Mashid goes to the market each day to select garden-fresh produce, which she and her staff prepare just prior to opening. The restaurant is designed so that vegans and carnivores can dine together, and everyone can get what they want.
The owner, Mashid, is a marvelous lady who came to Jacksonville from New York. I spoke with her about her background and the restaurant. She came to the United States with her family at the age of 18. Originally from Iran, she describes herself as Persian. There is a delightfully comforting feel to this place that strikes you from the moment you walk in the door. A central high chair dining area features decor like you would find in your own kitchen, including an enticing jar of marinated vegetables. This is all by design. There are mirrors and items on the walls that add to the familiar homey ambiance. Green Erth has maintained a manageable size that allows them to offer excellent service without compromising quality and the intimate atmosphere.
While advertised as vegetarian/vegan Persian food, I learned in my conversation with Mashid that this restaurant is vegetarian and vegan-friendly. After doing a little investigating, I discovered that they guarantee their vegan food is 100% pure. I discovered this place a few months ago and vowed to visit it for lunch, but I never made it. So, recently, as I was driving through downtown Jacksonville on Hendricks Avenue headed for a Tropical Smoothie Café, I passed this Green Erth Bistro. I turned around and headed back, intent on finding out what they were all about. I’m so glad I did; I had a wonderful lunch in a very comfortable setting with fresh ingredients that express themselves in unmistakable bursts of flavor. Let’s be honest with ourselves here, isn’t this what we all really want?
I ordered a cup of the vegan soup of the day which turned out to be the Barley Aash. It is a hearty concoction of barley, lentils, navy beans, fresh herbs, garlic & onion and is very tasty.
I also ordered a sandwich which is listed on the menu as a TempehWrap. This delectable wrap includes, organic tempeh marinated in-house dressing, served with diced tomato,onion and organic greens wrapped in lavash (a soft, thin flatbread), served with gluten-free chips. I could only finish half of the wrap as it was a sizable portion.
Inquiring about their dessert, I was happy to find out that they have vegan desserts such as ice cream and the weekly special, which turned out to be the double chocolate cheesecake. The cheesecake is sweetened with agave which was pleasing to me since I avoid refined sugar like the plague. When I inquired about the desert, Mashid told me that she does not make them in her kitchen but orders the vegan desert from Shakthi Life Kitchens, located right here in Jacksonville. Shakthi Life Kitchens is owned by a young lady whose father owns European Street Café, which I posted in an earlier blog.
In addition to the food that I ordered there are many other items on the menu that vegetarian/vegans will find delightful, like falafel, baba ghanoush, a hummus plate, tabouli, various salads, vegan chili, vegan soup, and various vegetarian/vegan sandwiches or wraps. One of the unique items in this restaurant is skewers and kebabs.
I cannot wait to go back and try the organic tofu and vegetable kebob. You can also order sides of tabouli hummus, organic tempeh, vegan bread, vegan cheese, and basmati rice. Have I given you the impression that I could eat here every day? Well I’m glad I did, because it’s true.
Lunch is served here Monday through Saturday 11 AM to 2:30 PM. Dinner isserved Tuesday through Saturday 5:30 PM to 9 PM and they are closed on Sunday. If you are traveling through Jacksonville this is a must stop. It is locatedin the downtown area on Hendricks Avenue. Please say hello to Mashid from Mike the Diver, and enjoy all of the great food choices she has to offer.
If I told you we were going to have lunch at the Garden Truck, it would bring to mind images of a food truck located in a parking lot where one could stand outside to order food. In this case, The Garden Truck Eatery is a trendy restaurant located in North Jacksonville, Florida.
I learned about this place through the North Florida Vegetarian Society here in Jacksonville. This Meetup group visits different restaurants in the area serving vegan options once a month. The Garden Truck Eatery was on their list one evening and we found it packed with happy hungry vegans and vegetarians. Ron and Gail surprised everyone by creating a sampling of most of their entire menu. Needless to say, everyone was delighted and vowed to return.
With heart disease, stroke, obesity, diabetes, dementia and other common and often fatal maladies on the rise, people are finally beginning to awaken to the fact that good health begins with what we choose to put on our plates. With mounting evidence that a diet largely consisting of plants can prevent and reverse many of these debilitating diseases, the world is beginning to embrace a plant-based, healthy lifestyle. That’s right, veganism has become cool. And it is high time.
Many fast food restaurants are jumping on the bandwagon and have begun to offer vegan options. Chipotles offers a couple of healthy vegan dishes, even eschewing the use of GMOs, and Wendy’s is now rumored to be creating a veggie burger. It’s a beginning.
On VOAA’s trip to Chicago to participate in VeggieFest Chicago this past weekend, we were blown away to discover Native Foods Café, a gem of a restaurant that offers nothing but healthy plant-based fare made from scratch. All vegan, all the time! What a concept!